Sure, not every job is suitable for telecommuting. But for those that are, there are multiple benefits. As David Gewirtz, author of How to Save Jobs, has noted, Americans spend an average of 52 minutes a day commuting. That comes to about 225 hours a year. Most telecommuters that I know end up giving that extra time to their employers. They sit down at their workstation earlier and get up from it later. They aren't watching the clock but instead working on and completing tasks.
And what's the price of all that extra face time? Will companies have to buy or rent more space to accommodate the workers they call back into the office? Are they ready to pay for the power those extra bodies will use? Are they going to need more printers, parking spaces and support staffers? Put it all together and you get people spending less time on work while companies spend more money on office infrastructure. When you put it that way, Mayer's big idea just doesn't make any sense.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was cutting-edge and 300bps was a fast Internet connection -- and we liked it! He can be reached at email@example.com.
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